Dancing dentists scoop title

The local Strictly Come Dancing team pictured with their award at the charity event
The local Strictly Come Dancing team pictured with their award at the charity event

A group of dancing dentists have secured a prestigious prize after their fundraising efforts raised £25,000 for charity.

Colleagues from the Bupa Dental Care Banbridge practice came together to waltz, tango, salsa and foxtrot, raising money for their long-standing charity partner, Make-A-Wish, which creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

In total, the charity event saw 10 couples hit the dancefloor to compete for success in front of a crowd of more than 350 people. For weeks prior to the big night, the volunteers had been attending dance lessons with instructors from Ballroom Blitz.

Marking their hard work, Bupa colleagues were awarded the ‘Best Charity Project’ prize at the prestigious Irish Dentistry Awards.

The awards were announced at a recent black-tie dinner at the Round Room, Mansion House in Dublin, where colleagues from the organisations collected the coveted award on behalf of all the practices involved.

The vital funds have been used to grant thousands of ‘magical wishes’ for children that are suffering life-threatening conditions in Northern Ireland. Furthermore, following the success of the project, Bupa Dental Care has now raised its annual fundraising target to £40,000 for 2019.

Gordon Hughes, local Practice Manager at Bupa Dental Care said: “We’ve had a longstanding partnership with Make-A-Wish, but last year we wanted to do something a little different to beat our previous annual amount raised. Strictly fever had spread across all our teams, so we decided to waltz, foxtrot and tango our way to success.

“We are very proud of the amount raised, which totalled £15,000 on the night and then finished up at £25,000 thanks to Bupa’s charity-matching scheme. Winning this award is the icing on the cake for us; I was so proud to represent all involved as it really does recognise the outstanding contribution that each dental team has made to such a remarkable cause.”

Zara Doyle, Area Manager for Bupa Dental Care in Northern Ireland, added: “What a result! I’m so proud of everyone involved. For some of these colleagues it was their first time dancing professionally, but they jumped in feet irst in the knowledge that it was all for a great cause. Congratulations all.”

The ‘Bupa does Strictly’ evening has sparked the performing arts bug within the teams and they’re set to perform again in a Royal Variety Performance on June 22 at The Hilton Templepatrick. Proceeds will again be donated to Make-a-Wish.